Seahawks add nine more picks on final day of draft

Posted Apr 27, 2013

GM John Schneider and the Seahawks added nine more players on Saturday to “a great group of guys” that comprise the team’s 2013 draft class and will only increase the competition for roster spots.


WR Chris Harper, Kansas State
Pick: 26th in the round, No. 123 overall.
Pertinent info: 6-foot, 234 pounds. … Harper signed with the University of Oregon as a quarterback out of Northwest High School in Wichita, Kan., in 2008, but moved to wide receiver after injuring his shoulder and then transferred to Kansas State to be closer to home. … Caught 58 passes for a 14.8-yard average and three touchdowns last season and 40 for 13.7 and five TDs in 2011. … Has a time of 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash and a 35½-vertical leap on his resume. … 23 (born Sept. 10, 1989).
What he brings: A sure-handed target for QB Russell Wilson who plays bigger than he is because of his background of playing in the post in basketball.
Where he fits: More competition at an already competitive position that includes leading receiver Sidney Rice; fellow starter Golden Tate, who caught seven TD passes last season; slot receiver Doug Baldwin, who led the team in receptions as a rookie in 2011; and Percy Harvin, who was acquired last month in a trade with the Vikings.
What they’re saying: “We really like the size and strength that he played with; run after the catch. He plays with a lot of power in the lower body. He’s a guy that we can move around really anywhere.” – assistant director of pro personnel Trent Kirchner
What he’s saying: “It helps me a lot. I look at defenses differently. I’ve seen them from what the quarterback sees. I know what he’s thinking at different times. I understand rotations and coverages and things like that. I’m a step ahead when I’m out there.” – on how being a quarterback helps him as receiver


DT Jesse Williams, Alabama
Pick: 4th in the round, No. 137 overall. Seahawks traded into the spot, sending the Lions the 165th and 199th picks in the fifth and sixth rounds.
Pertinent info: 6 feet 3, 325 pounds. … Born in Brisbane, Australia, he played rugby and basketball before getting into American football as a teenager. … Attended Arizona Western Community College in Yuma, Ariz., before going to Alabama. … Two-year starter for the Crimson Tide, he had 24 tackles in 2011 and 37 last season. …  Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.84 seconds and did 30 reps with 225 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine. … 22 (born Nov. 2, 1990 in Thursday Island, Australia).
What he brings: Another big body for the middle of the defensive line. While third-round pick Jordan Hill provides some needed quickness and pass-rush ability, Williams provides bulk – and admits his skills remain raw at this point in his development.
Where he fits: He possesses the size at the three-technique tackle spot in the base defense that was lost when incumbent starter Alan Branch left in free agency.
What they’re saying: “He’s really an intense, jump-off-the-ball, strong guy who really will fill a specific role for us. Just his strength, his movement down the line of scrimmage and his ability to compress the pocket really is an intriguing thing for us.” – GM John Schneider
What he’s saying: “For me, it’s my technique. I’m pretty raw still, (with) an athletic body. I picked up a lot of skills at Alabama and I’m trying to continue to progress as a football player. My technique, whether it’s playing the run or playing the pass or reading the backfield, knowing the formations. I’m always trying to pick up on those little skills.” – when asked what he needs to work on

CB Tharold Simon, LSU
Pick: 5th in the round, 138th overall. Pick acquired from Raiders in Aaron Curry trade.
Pertinent info: 6 feet 2, 202 pounds. … Produced 45 tackles and four interceptions last season, his only one as a starter. … Also had 42 tackles and two interceptions as the No. 3 corner in the nickel in 2011. … Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds at his Pro Day. … Played wide receiver as well as corner at Eunice (La.) High School. … 22 (born March 6, 1991).
What he brings: The size, style and attitude the Seahawks like in their cornerbacks.
Where he fits: The starters seem set, with All-Pro Richard Sherman at left cornerback, Pro Bowl-caliber corner Brandon Browner on the right side and former Pro Bowl corner and recent addition Antoine Winfield as the nickel back. But Simon will compete for a roster spot and could develop into an eventual starter.
What they’re saying: “Absolutely. He’s big. He’s long. He runs well. He’s very tough. He fits exactly that kind of mold of the guys we have – with Richard (Sherman) and Brandon (Browner) and (Byron) Maxwell and Jeremy Lane. Tharold fits right in.” – area scout Ed Dodds
What he’s saying: “I know exactly how they play. I watched them a lot this year, because I’m a big corner and they have some big corners. I like defense, and they have a real good defense. I know they like tall corners, and I’m a tall, physical corner. Get up there and press, I know that’s what they like to do. I know I fit in there and I’m ready to go and compete and show them that I fit their system.”

TE Luke Willson, Rice
Pick: 25th in round, 158th overall.
Pertinent info: 6 feet 5, 252 pounds. … Caught 33 passes for a team-high 425 yards as a sophomore at Rice and added 29 receptions for 313 yards in 2011. Was nagged by injuries last season. … Selected by the Toronto Argonauts in the fourth round of the CFL draft last spring. … Born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, he grew up playing hockey (of course) and baseball (well enough to be signed by the Blue Jays). … Didn’t begin playing football until the eighth grade. … 23 (born Jan. 15, 1990).
What he brings: Despite his size and self-assessment that his best quality is as a blocker, the Seahawks point to his speed and think he can provide the ability to stretch the middle of the field that they were hoping to add in this draft.
Where he fits: Zach Miller remains the starter, and Anthony McCoy produced career-high totals as the backup last season. But in certain situations, Rice could bring a different element to the position.
What they’re saying: “This guy ran 4.51 at 250-plus. He’s huge and he ran that fast. He’s going to be a guy that can give us a downfield threat from that tight end position.” – area scout Ed Dodds
What he’s saying: “Just the camaraderie of it. Football is the ultimate team game. I played hockey growing up as a kid. I’ve always been into team sports. I was never really an individual sport guy. I feel like there’s no better feeling in any of the sports I’ve played than when you win a football game. … When you win, it’s just the ultimate feeling. So that kind of drew me in to football – the satisfaction you get after winning games. ” – on what he loves about football


RB Spencer Ware, LSU
Pick: 26th in the round, 194th overall.
Pertinent info: 5 feet 10, 229 pounds. … Leaving LSU after his junior season, when he ran for 367 yards and started four games. … Had 10 starts in 2011, when he rushed for 707 yards and scored nine touchdowns. … Capped his freshman season by rushing for 102 yards on 10 carries in the Cotton Bowl win over Texas A&M. … Was a dual-threat quarterback and baseball player at Princeton High School in Cincinnati. … 21 (born Nov. 23, 1991).
What he brings: Another hard-running back to add to the mix, which already included All-Pro Marshawn Lynch; incumbent backup Robert Turbin, a fourth-round pick last year; and Christine Michael, who was selected in the second round on Friday. But he also has the ability to play fullback.
Where he fits: He did play some fullback his freshman season at LSU, when now-Patriot Stephan Ridley was the starting tailback. He was a jack-of-all-trades runner the past two seasons. But the Seahawks view his versatility as definite plus.
What they’re saying: “That flexibility was exciting for us, and he’s such a tough guy. We really like his nature, the way he brings it. We expect him to fit into a number of different areas, special teams as well.” – coach Pete Carroll
What he’s saying: “I’m a hardnosed player. That’s how I sum it up. Being hardnosed is being productive and also hustling every opportunity I’m on the field. And just trying to make plays, really.”


OG Ryan Seymour, Vanderbilt
Pick: 14th in the round, 220th overall. Pick was acquired in last year’s trade with Saints for Barrett Ruud.
Pertinent info: 6 feet 4, 301 pounds. … Started 35 games for Vanderbilt, including all 13 last season, 11 in 2011 and 10 in 2010. … Recruited as a defensive end out of Camden Co. High School in Georgia, but was moved to offensive line. … 23 (born Feb. 7, 1990).
What he brings: Versatility to the interior of the line, as Seymour played both guard spots and right tackle at Vandy and also was the backup center last season.
Where he fits: That will be up to how well he takes to the teaching of O-line coach Tom Cable, as the Seahawks already have Paul McQuistan and J.R. Sweezy, who finished last season as the starting guards; and James Carpenter and John Moffitt, the team’s top draft choices in 2011 who also play the position.
What they’re saying: “His versatility, that’s the reason he had more value for us. And he went to Vanderbilt, so he’s a pretty smart guy. We talk about smart, tough, reliable, and that’s what he is.” – Schneider
What he’s saying: “I’m just coming in as a versatile athlete. They can put me wherever they want. I can play all the way from right tackle all the way to left guard.”

DE Ty Powell, Harding
Pick: 25th in the round, 231st overall.
Pertinent info: 6 feet 2, 248 pounds. … Played safety, rover and defensive end for the Bison after being recruited out of DeAnza Community College. … He had the best vertical leap (37 inches) of all the linebackers at the NFL Scouting Combine. … The first player drafted from Harding University in 30 years. … Was a quarterback and cornerback at Seaside High School in California. … Today is his 25th birthday (born April 27, 1988).
What he brings: The versatility and skill to be another option at the Leo end spot, but also help by dropping into pass coverage.
Where he fits: Into a number of roles. At Leo end. On special teams. Perhaps even as a linebacker.
What they’re saying: “He’s going to a Leo (end) for us, knowing that our Leo spot crosses over where the guys can play on both sides. We like the athlete and the speed that he brings, and also he’s right into the size/speed of being a core special teams guy, too.” – Carroll
What he’s saying: “It means the world to me. To be able to come from a school and represent and be able to put it out there, I’m excited right now.” – on being the first Harding player to be drafted in 30 years

OG Jared Smith, New Hampshire
Pick: 35th in the round, 241st overall. Compensatory selection.
Pertinent info: 6 feet 4, 302 pounds. … Was a defensive end in college, but will be moved to guard by the Seahawks – the latest unit transformation by O-line coach Tom Cable. … Had 33 tackles last season, 43 in 2011 and 38 in 2010. … Picked up the nickname “Fat Rabbit.” Asked about it, he said, “They said I was fast as a rabbit, and I also was fat. So they thought they’d get under my hair and call me ‘Fat Rabbit.’ I hated it for a while. Then, I just learned to live up to it and it’s been history ever since.”
What he brings: The same kind of movement skills and feet that Cable saw in J.R. Sweezy, last year’s seventh-round draft choice who had been a defensive tackle at North Carolina State but ended up starting the final two regular-season games and both playoff games at right guard.
Where he fits: That all depends on how well he takes to Cable’s teaching and how quickly he develops on the other side of the line.
What they’re saying: “Jared – much like Sweezy last year – is converted defensive lineman. Had a lot of the same athletic traits, physical traits. … So we’re excited about his upside from an athletic standpoint.” – Schneider.
What he’s saying: “I’m just going to put my whole entire football learning skills in his coach Cable’s hands and he will mold me into a starting player.”

OT Michael Bowie, Northeastern State (Okla.)
Pick: 36th in the round, 242nd overall. Compensatory selection.
Pertinent info: 6 feet 4, 332 pounds. … Played his final season at Northeastern after beginning his career at Oklahoma State, where Seahawks Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung was his mentor; and Navarro Community College. … Was an all-state selection at Sand Springs High School. … Is a cousin of former NBA player Anthony Bowie. … 21 (born Sept. 25, 1991).
What he brings: Size and athletic ability which are better than his draft status because he was forced to switch schools.
Where he fits: He played left tackle last season, but will start out on the right side for the Seahawks.
What they’re saying: “We’ll move him around, all of our guys have to flexible. But we’d like to see how he looks on the right side.” – Carroll
What he’s saying: “Every time we were at practice I tried to get as much out of him as I could. He’s a pretty good guy to look up to.” – on Okung

On the third day of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Seahawks went global.

Of the nine players they selected Saturday, one is from Australia (Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams) and another from Canada (Rice tight end Luke Willson). They also grabbed a player from New Hampshire (defensive end Jared Smith, who will be moved to offensive guard) and another from Harding University (Leo end/linebacker Ty Powell). There were two from LSU (cornerback Tharold Simon and fullback Spencer Ware). Two others came from Vanderbilt (guard Ryan Seymour) and Northeastern State in Oklahoma (tackle Michael Bowie). The other (wide receiver Chris Harper) began his college career as a quarterback at Oregon only to end it as a wide receiver at Kansas State.

But their paths will all cross May 10-12 during the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp, and the final destination is the same for each – a spot on the team’s 53-man roster when the Seahawks open the regular season on Sept. 8 against the Panthers in Carolina.

“We’re extremely excited. Great group of guys,” said general manager John Schneider, his enthusiasm over this diverse draft class palpable as he sat next to coach Pete Carroll at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

“Obviously today was our most exciting day, and we’re really excited about the toughness that we added to this team, the speed, the intensity of the guys and we think it’s going to be a great group to coincide with coach Carroll’s philosophy of competition.”

But don’t forget what the team did in the first two days of the draft. Friday, the Seahawks added to an already talented running back group by drafting Texas A&M’s Christine Michael in the second round and addressed their biggest need by taking Penn State defensive tackle Jordan Hill in the third. They had no pick in the first round on Thursday night, because they traded it to the Minnesota Vikings last month as part of a three-pick package to acquire Percy Harvin and all that he’ll bring to the offense.

“We couldn’t be happier,” Schneider said, the expression on his face matching the words that were coming from his mouth.

The 11 picks tied for the second-most in franchise history since the league went to a seven-round draft in 1994 – trailing only the 12 picks the Seahawks had in 2001. They entered Saturday with 12 picks, but traded two away to move into the fourth spot in the fifth round – which is where they took Williams, a 6-foot-3, 325-pound defensive tackle who grew up playing rugby in Brisbane, Australia.

“He’s really an intense, jump-off-the-ball, strong guy who really will fill a specific role for us,” Schneider said of Williams, who can bench press 600 pounds and still is learning the nuances of a sport he didn’t start playing until he was teenager. “Just his strength, his movement down the line and his ability to compress the pocket is an intriguing thing for us.”

The image of the 325-pound Williams at the three-technique tackle spot, next to 311-pound nose tackle Brandon Mebane, who’s next to 323-pound end Red Bryant on run downs, definitely was dancing in Schneider’s head on this equivalent of Christmas morning for NFL personnel executives.    

With the very next pick in the fifth round, which was acquired last month when they traded backup QB Aaron Curry to the Oakland Raiders, they grabbed Simon because, well, let Schneider explain.

“Quite frankly, we had a player that fits exactly what we’re looking for in the corner position,” the team’s fourth-year GM said. “We didn’t feel he would make it to us the next time (with the 25th pick in the round), so we just wanted to go ahead and give it a shot.”

Then there are Harper and Willson, who bring traits to the competition at wide receiver and tight end that players on the current roster don’t have.

The efforts of the past two days have left the Seahawks with more of what they already had – fast, physical, aggressive players who love football and flaunt their passion for the game in the way they play it.

“We’ve elevated our team again,” Carroll said. “We’ve chosen a bunch of guys that love to play the game. It’s really important to them.”

Now comes the hard part: Meshing these players with the current roster, when there isn’t enough room for everyone. For every draft choice that makes the team, it will take a roster spot from a player who helped the Seahawks go 11-5 during the 2012 regular-season and then win the franchise’s first road playoff game since 1983.

But that’s OK, because that’s what the competition Carroll is constantly preaching is all about.

“We hope it’s really hard on them, that it’s very difficult,” Carroll said. “That means we’re going in the right direction. The whole idea is to make this roster as competitive as possible. So that means it’s hard for these guys to make it. But it’s also the quality of guys we were able to draft and attract here in free agency that makes it hard for guys to keep their jobs.

“That’s just understood. That’s part of the makeup of being here at the Seahawks.”